The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office opened two judicial inquiries at the end of October, one “on the conditions of intervention of consulting firms in the electoral campaigns of 2017 and 2022”, the other on suspicions of “favoritism” concerning them, said indicated Thursday the financial public prosecutor Jean-François Bohnert. During the last presidential campaign, a Senate report had sparked heated controversy over the use of public funds and the opposition had called for an investigation into possible favoritism of the Macronist majority for the benefit of the consulting firm McKinsey.
The PNF clarifies “the situation of the various criminal proceedings”
After an article from Parisian entitled “McKinsey case: Emmanuel Macron targeted by an investigation for illegal campaign financing”, the PNF on Thursday published a press release to “clarify the situation of various criminal proceedings” initiated after the Senate report as well as various complaints and reports.
The prosecution clarified that “following several reports and complaints from elected officials and individuals, a judicial investigation was opened on October 20, 2022, in particular of the heads of non-compliant keeping of campaign accounts and reduction of accounting elements in a campaign account, relating to the conditions of intervention of consulting firms in the electoral campaigns of 2017 and 2022”. The public prosecutor also added that “following several complaints from elected officials and associations, a judicial investigation was opened on October 21, 2022 on the grounds of favoritism and concealment of favouritism”.
Contracts between the State and firms which have more than doubled from 2018 to 2021
Published on March 16, the report of the Senate’s commission of inquiry into the growing influence of private consulting firms on public policies, initiated by the small group CRCE with a communist majority, ensured that the contracts signed between the State and several firms had “more than doubled” between 2018 and 2021, for a record amount of more than 1 billion euros in 2021. The opposition had immediately demanded the opening of an investigation into what it denounced like the favoritism that the Macronist majority would show for the benefit of McKinsey.
According to Mediapart, some members of the cabinet could have worked for free during Emmanuel Macron’s victorious presidential campaign in 2017. The senatorial report also pointed to a possible tax arrangement for McKinsey’s French entities, which would have allowed them to pay no corporate tax. between 2011 and 2020.
In his press release, Jean-François Bohnert recalled that a preliminary investigation had already been underway since March 31 for “aggravated money laundering of aggravated tax evasion”. It resulted in a search of McKinsey’s French headquarters on May 24. Then candidate, Emmanuel Macron had estimated that the non-payment of corporate tax by McKinsey was explained by the tax rules in force. “If there is evidence of manipulation, let it go to the criminal court,” he said last March.